If you’re facing the prospect of paying your spouse alimony after divorce, you may fear for your finances. You may have earned more than them during your marriage. Or, you might have been your household’s sole breadwinner. In these cases, you will likely worry that any support you provide will be significant and last a lifetime. Yet, it’s important to know how New Hampshire’s alimony laws work so you can understand its actual impact.
New Hampshire’s laws
In 2019, New Hampshire enacted new alimony laws that create a more uniform system. The state’s guidelines figure base payment as 30% of the difference between you and your spouse’s monthly incomes. To receive alimony, your spouse must prove they have substantial need for your support. They will likely meet this threshold if they cannot make ends meet or maintain your marital lifestyle without your help.
In most cases, any support you provide will only last half the length of your marriage. And any alimony payments you make will terminate once you retire. But in special circumstances, you may have to pay alimony for longer than the state’s guidelines. This depends upon:
- The degree of your spouse’s dependency on your income
- Any adverse conduct you or your spouse engaged in during your marriage
- Any special needs your minor or adult children have
- Whether you or your spouse are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed
- Whether you or your spouse diminished marital assets
Under recent changes to federal law, alimony’s tax burden now falls on the payor rather than the recipient. In the past, you could deduct alimony paid as taxable income. Not only is this no longer the case, your spouse does not need to include it in their taxable income. Yet, New Hampshire also gives payors some relief. If you earn income outside your primary job or through overtime hours, the state does not count it toward the amount of alimony you pay.
Alimony may seem like a financial setback to you. But New Hampshire’s new law may lessen its impact. If you have concerns about providing support, an attorney with family law experience can help you work through them.